Archive for Question of the Week

Counting Calories? Raw Eggs? Milk for Everyone? Reader Questions-

me cookingMorning! I’ve received several good questions this week, which I’m going to answer here (questions are “condensed” for brevity).


I eat raw eggs 4 or 5 times a week, usually 2 at a time.  All my eggs are from farmers, not commercial egg producers/grocery stores (except my local, small grocery store, the IGA, which sells Farmer Eggs).  I’d NEVER eat a raw egg from a commercial grocery store.  At this point, I don’t even want a cooked egg from a grocery store.  The egg’s nutrient profiles are a reflection of what they’re fed (grains for commercial chickens; plants and bugs for farm raised).  Also, I’d like to NOT support commercial chicken farming.  Have you seen how they’re raised?  There’s plenty of sneaky youtube videos, and here’s a synopsis to read.

There’s so many food myths that have been busted for me in the past few years, and this Raw Egg thing is one of them.  I use Raw Eggs for my self and my family several times a week for 4 or 5 years now, and no one’s become sick.  Our Real Whole Food diet’s made us all healthier.   Again though, I’d NEVER eat a raw commercial eggs.  Interested in learning more?  Read Dr. Mercola’s post on Raw Eggs, he includes plenty of sciency facts.  BTW: I pay $3.50/doz.

Ohh, I got a few emails in response to my milk post, suggesting I’m recommending milk for everyone.  Not at all!  I’ve said several times that Raw Dairy is a good food – if you can tolerate it.  A lot of people can’t.  My youngest daughter Shelby tested positive for Lactose Intolerance, although she can tolerate raw much better than pasteurized because Raw Milk has Lactase.    Here’s something interesting: there’s two reasons people are “sensitive” to milk.  (IMPORTANT:  Lactose Intolerance DOES NOT equal an Allergy; allergies can be life threatening.  Intolerance/sensitivities gives you bad stomach aches.)  Interesting research on milk intolerance is suggesting that it maybe a secondary reaction to Gluten Intolerance, via Molecular Mimicry.  Here’s the thinking:  No one has the enzymes to digest Glutens (grain proteins).  They go thru the small intestine wall, into the blood stream, NOT COMPLETELY broken down, causing “Leaky Gut”.  These big proteins aren’t supposed to be in the blood stream, so our immune system mounts an attack.  Casein proteins from dairy look VERY MUCH LIKE GLUTEN PROTEINS.  Eventually, our immune system MISTAKENLY attacks the casein proteins also.  What to do? Heal and seal your gut, quit eating glutens, and often the dairy sensitivities go away. Think that sounds crazy? No crazier than when our immune system attack our joints, our thyroid, our liver, our pancreas, or any other part it wants to in Auto Immune Disease.  Those are mistakes also; our immune system shouldn’t attack us, but it happens.  Want to learn more, read this piece by PhD scientist Sarah Ballentyne, aka The Paleo Mom.  She’s all about whacked out immune systems as she deals with it herself.
Last Question, how many calories do I eat a day?  Oh My Gosh I haven’t counted calories in a few years and WHAT A RELIEF!!!  I’m guessing, due to huge amounts of fat, that I eat close to 2500/3000 a day.  Way up from my compulsive decades of consuming Low Fat /No Fat foods, (until my inevitable binges), where I stressed, starved, and worried every single day about my weight.  I eat Real Whole Foods 3X a day, and I rarely EVER snack ( I eat too much fat and protein to get hungry ).  If I have dessert ( Paleo!) I have it WITH a meal.  My weight?  Unbelievably steady.  Stomach issues?  Zero.  Let me say it like this:  As I’ve COMPLETELY eliminated dieting/diet foods/diet thoughts, I’ve consistently had the best weight and the best health of my life.

I’m feeding my body the nutrients it wants, and I’ve deleted the negative cascade of hormonal results that happen with dieting (high cortisol, high insulin, low thyroid).

What’d I eat yesterday?

Paul Newman Organic Vanilla Coffee with 1/3 cup Raw Cream

B – raw whole fat keifer (1 cup) 2 raw eggs, frozen spinach and cherries, coconut flakes, cinnamon, ginger, Manuka honey (google it)

L – several slices of DELICIOUS deer sausage with jalapenos and cheddar, an orange, and a macaroon, handful of mixed nuts

D – baked fish, roasted white potatoes in butter and herbs, a mix of broth/tomatoes/cabbage/cauliflower/onion/garlic soup.

And last question: can I be more specific with my recipes, i.e amounts of ingredients:  Sorry, I don’t cook that way.  I only use recipe books for their pictures and ideas.  That mix I made for dinner last night or any night?  I had those things in the fridge, so I threw them together.  Three nights in a row earlier this week, I made brussels and coconutbrussel sprouts with various ingredients: broth/butter/bacon/sausage/onions/carrots/sweet potato/cheese.  I load on herbs and spices and heat depending on who’s home and what I’m feeling.  Cooking’s Not Brain Surgery. ( Baking however is, you MUST follow recipes when baking.)   Just put together foods and flavors you like.  Real Whole Foods ALWAYS taste good, so it’s hard to go wrong.

Keep sending your questions – I love them!  Make time to read the links:  when you make your health a priority by learning how your body works, it’s easier to make effortless changes to your eating.  It’s not a struggle to say NO to cake, cookies, crackers, or fast food when you think they’re poison.

Will Milk make you Fat or Skinny?

chocolate milkI’ve been meaning to do a post on milk for a while, and I got a great email this morning that compels me to do it immediately:


Am I insane to find this article absolutely absurd?!?!?! I don’t know what to believe anymore. I just don’t want to be fat. Apparently this is too much to ask for. Feeling very discouraged after reading this.

You might have seen this article, or other articles referring to it, touting the fact that when they compared athletes who drank either chocolate milk, Gatorade, or water after a cycling workout, the ones who drank chocolate milk had better recovery.  Makes sense.  Milk has casein (long lasting) protein and whey (fast acting) proteins, fats for cell membrane repair, vitamins and minerals, and the sugar in the chocolate can be used for glycogen “refueling”.  Gatorade’s pure junk ( have you read those ingredients? ), and while water is great, and it’s all I drink after a workout (with some Apple Cider Vinegar added), it doesn’t have any fat, protein, vitamins, or minerals.  (ps, I workout a lot, and I’m fine without “recovery meals/drinks”)

Here’s the facts:  after a workout, your cell doors are more “open” to glucose/blood sugar.  Fact:  that’s only if you actually USED the glycogen/blood glucose that was stored in a muscle cell.  If you didn’t use it, it doesn’t need any more.  There’s a VERY FINITE amount of glycogen/glucose/sugar/blood glucose we can store.  VERY FINITE.  If you’ve eaten a big bowl of oatmeal, a banana, and a glass of orange juice for breakfast, you have about 81 grams of carbs/sugar/glucose in your blood.  (sugar/carbs, they all get broken down to C6H12O6 / glucose, whether they’re from grains, vegetables, beans, fruits, whatever, they all get broken down in the gut to glucose. That’s the guts job, break food down to it’s smallest component.)

Four grams of carbs = One teaspoon of sugar/blood glucose. ( I’m using these words over and over to drill in that a carb is a sugar is a carb is a glucose……) .  That breakfast yielded about 20 teaspoons of sugar.  20.  20 teaspoons of sugar.  Your blood ONLY wants about 2 teaspoons, your liver Only wants about 2 teaspoons. Blood sugar gets used to build NOTHING.  Everything else needs to be dispensed with.   If you just worked out, or just woke up, you have some empty muscle cells that can use the sugar/glucose.  Maybe your liver stores are a little empty too.  ALL THE REST OF THE EXCESS GLUCOSE GETS MADE INTO TRIGLYCERIDES AND STORED IN YOUR FAT TISSUE.

So what do I think about milk??  I think raw, unpasteurized, grass fed milk is a Super Food.  Organic milk from grass fed dairy is great; organic milk from grain fed cows is good.  Whole Milk is the ONLY milk you should be drinking, studies show that people who drink whole milk are thinner, and you can only absorb the fat soluble vitamins WITH FAT.  Google it.

Here’s my issue with the “chocolate milk”; undoubtedly, the kind used in these studies was junk.  Here’s the ingredient list for Hershey’s chocolate syrup:


There’s NO WAY anyone could think these chemicals and sugars could be good for ANYTHING.  Food’s either poison or medicine.  This is poison.  If you want chocolate, buy a good cocoa, and add a little stevia or honey.  There’s enough carbs in the milk (lactose) to refuel your muscle cells.

About the milk making the athletes perform better?  Absolutely!  What’s your activity level?  If it’s low, you don’t need many carbs.  If it’s high, you get to consume more.  Make them GOOD CARBS:  vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.   Still confused?  Test your blood sugar with a glucometer.  If your numbers are over 100, STORAGE IS HAPPENING; unless you’re working out, then some of your muscle cells can use the blood sugar for fuel.  ***** If blood sugar is high, fat doesn’t get used nearly as much for fuel,( hence, the reason for weight loss on a low carb diet – the low blood sugars increase fat burning).  And the whole “you need carbs for energy – like bread and pasta” OMGOSH NO.  Do you know how many athletes now shun bread and pasta and thrive?  It’s becoming more normal IMG_2751than ever, thank goodness.  Check out professional triathlete Ben Greenfield if you’re interested.  Here’s a pic of my 49 year old hubby, who drinks a half gallon a day of raw milk.  ( it does his body good!)  I consume at least a quarter to a third of cup of raw cream every day.

Back to the milk question.  Everyone’s body is different.  These studies showed improved athletic improvement. Other studies show that whole milk drinkers are thinner than skim milk drinkers.  Bottom Line:  NO ONE GOES WRONG WITH REAL WHOLE FOOD.



A Success Story on Weight Loss and Health

lunch on beachProbably because of the New Year, I’ve had several letters asking about weight loss.  Everything from my opinion on Fitbits, to an electronic fork that tells you to slow down, to red pepper/honey/lemon cleanses.  You all, these are just Marketing Scams that compel you to buy gadgets, magazines, books, foods, and drugs, under the false promise that these will cause you to lose weight.  They won’t.   The Paleo Diet won’t even cause you to lose weight if you’re just using the “low carbishness” of it as a temporary weight loss tool. Diet’s never work because every Diet has an Equal and Opposing Binge.  The Paleo Diet isn’t about low carb weight loss.  It’s about Understanding How Your Body Actually Works and then Feeding it Properly:  Real Whole Food. It’s also about stress, movement, and sleep.  Live Healthy, Eat Healthy, and Weight Loss is a Side Effect.

Here’s a caveat though:  for most people, it’s not going to be a quick side effect.  Real, actual fat loss takes time.  Changing your habits and thoughts about food takes even more time.  But what if you don’t start today?  What if on January 4, 2015, you’re the exact same as you are right now?

Here’s an email from someone who has put in the work and effort for a whole year, and seen really, really impressive results:

I was reading through your recent posts and just had to respond so maybe you can let the lady who emailed you about eating “healthy grains” and “the plate” and not losing weight… that you are right! I was like her, thinking that was the healthy way, eating whole grains and whole wheat pastas and low or no fat…

After starting to eat differently and following your recommended plan for almost a year now I am finding that was not the healthy diet I thought it was. I attended several of your nutrition workshops and read your posts and the other references and books you have recommended along the way and I am feeling great. I feel better and I have lost weight over time and I am not gaining it back. I have a new way of looking at food from your workshops. I learned so much that I had never thought about or considered. It starts with real whole foods just as you say and I now think about what I put in my mouth and how it effects my digestion and other organs and hormones, etc. The workshops help you understand why it is so important to eat well. Eating poorly may not have an immediate impact but I have learned that it is cumulative, the negative results will show up in due time. I have also learned from you that it is not too late to make the changes! You are always positive and encouraging and take the time to make sure we all understand some of the more scientific things you teach in the classes. As my husband just said the other day, not only do I tell him which foods he eats that are bad for him but I have also shared knowledge with him about why they are bad and what it is doing to his body (from what I learned from you)! It makes a difference when you know those things and the “bad” foods become undesirable, less appealing. I am not perfect but I have not eaten pasta or crackers or (hardly) any bread, rice, etc. in a very long time. I am a work in progress and I still have things to work on, I still have too many (chocolate) treats but I am slowly getting there. I now understand why sugar is so bad for our bodies. I purchased a glucometer and want to know my glucose levels during the day now that I know how much damage it can do. I understand more about cholesterol and fats.

I went for my annual checkup recently and when the doctor came in he said “wow you have lost weight” and joked about me wasting away to nothing (which is not at all true) and other positive things. It was very noticeable to him having not seen me in a year. He wanted to know what I was doing different and I told him. I notice over time I do not crave the crackers or chips anymore. I like the changes and will keep getting better at it! So thank you! I try to pass the information on to anyone who will listen to me. I know there are many of my family and friends who do not buy in yet but they see the differences in me and this makes them more inclined to find out what I am talking about. I recommend folks attend your workshops and I will continue to attend as it never hurts for me to hear things over and the more I understand the more I can share with others. Thank you for doing what you do, for taking the time to post the information and encourage us. I know it has made a huge difference for me. ”

Take my advice, start your change TODAY.  Not tomorrow because it’s Sunday and the weekend’s over, not February 1 because you missed January 1; Today.  Losing weight, reducing or eliminating inflammation/depression/anxiety/ADD/, getting rid coronary heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, migraines,  etc, these are from lifestyle changes that are completely in your power to make.  Use your power, email me if you need help.  Other people make changes, you can too. Don’t let another year go by where you end up disappointed and struggling.  Life’s too short for that.


How to Get Slim and Fit in 2014

5 of us snorkelingWe’re back from Culebra – Happy New Year!  On the one hand, it’s so exciting, and on the other, it’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed, …again.  Did you come out different or better or changed, or are you the same as when 2013 started?  I know from emails that many of you want to change, but are struggling with the “how”.  Here’s an email that sums it up:

“Hi Debbie, i was hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction…. i need some help. my weight is getting out of control again, and i know it’s because i’m not eating right and i don’t exercise enough. bottom line. and no magic pill is going to help me. i need to make a lifestyle change. i just need to. my problem is that i need to find something that is 1. easy to follow 2. won’t break the bank 3. i can still go out to eat on occasion and still enjoy myself when it comes to social functions 4. something i’ll WANT to do for the rest of my life 5. isn’t too drastic to the point where i’ll have to cook for myself and then make something different for my boyfriend – essentially, i want something that i can use for the whole family. and of course fancy dancy 30 item recipes that take hours to make aren’t on the single mother wish list either. i was looking at your website and see you follow paleo, maybe? ”

YES I can point you in the right direction:  make all your foods quality meats, fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.  Shun grains and sugars, the body turns them into fats/triglycerides very easily, and you’ll get all the carbohydrates you need in the foods listed above. Don’t eat chemicals.  MOVE every day.  If you can join a gym, join a gym.  If you can’t, walk, do push-ups, follow YouTube workouts – there’s about a billion free ones.  Don’t make 30 ingredient meals:  meat, vegetables, butter/olive oil, salt and pepper.  Simple.

I LOVE that she says “no magic pill is going to help me”;  if there was a magic pill, we wouldn’t have 70% of our population overweight.  The same goes for gadgets and diet programs:  waste of money.  If you want to get healthy and lose weight, it’s ALL ABOUT YOUR MIND.  Easy to follow? Going out to restaurants? Cooking for a crowd? Paleo is the answer for me, because I believe to my depths that eating crackers, pasta, bread, soda, and convenience foods are poison to my body. When I travel or cook for a crowd or pack my lunch every day, there’s no struggle.  That’s the point you want to get to:  No Struggle.  Then it’s easy to pass up all the foods that make you sick and overweight.

How do you get to that point?  It’s what you fill your mind with.  Read books like Wheat Belly or Grain Brain (no time to read? get Audible or buy the books on CD);  read my blog, or Chris Kressers or Mark’s Daily Apple; listen to podcasts that are on LivinlaVidaLowCarb (kitchen, car, workouts, etc) from doctors and experts with the latest science. Order the Paleo magazine.  And here’s my biggie drum beat:  Plan Shop Chop Prep Pack.  You’re not going to “luck” into a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body, it’s only going to come with effort.  Pretty soon though, the amount of effort required becomes less and less as your brain changes from the “calories in calories out” model to ” food is medicine or food is poison” model.

You can’t change your body (permanently) unless you change your brain. Willpower is Very Limited; every diet ends with a binge.  Educate yourself about how your body works, and the effects different foods have on you. Make this a priority instead of “weight loss”.  Weight loss and Health are the SIDE EFFECTS of changing how you think/act/feel.  Want to work with me?  I can change how you think about food and eating; not in one magical conversation, but over several.

You can leave 2014 very very differently than you entered it if you realistically tell yourself that you’re going to take a whole year to re-educate your mindset. Be determined, be confident, be bold; 12 months sounds long, but it’s not.  Time flies and before you know it, a whole new you will be here.

For Every Diet, There’s an Equal and Opposing Binge

christmas goodiesI hope I’m not beginning too many posts with “I got an email”, but honestly, I got an email that probably applies to so many of us, that I have to answer it here.

Hi Debbie,

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I meant to make this the one December in my life that I didn’t gain so much weight that I hated myself in January.  I was determined to “stay on the wagon” as you put it the other day.  But I’ve fallen off.  I feel hopeless. Between the parties and goodies that people are bringing into the office, I don’t see how I can possibly lose weight in December.

There’s more, but you get the gist.  Here’s my answer:  please don’t give up – and don’t plan on trying to lose weight in December either.  How bout for now, you practice different thoughts ?  That’s the point of the Mantras (this week’s Mantra is “I think long term.”):  to change your actions, and your body,  by changing what goes on in your head.  This takes time, attention, and effort.

Bad habits are so easy to develop; they give this short, momentary pleasure ( hormones and endorphins) that create neural circuits (think: road maps) in your brain.  Deviate from your normal patterns, and those neurons send STRONG signals that COMPEL you to do what you’ve always done in the past (keeping you right where you are).  Breaking habits means muscling through a few of those compelling messages, so that you can create NEW neural circuits.  Here’s the tricky part, I’m using the term ” muscle through “, which implies Will Power. Unfortunately, WillPower is in very limited supply.  Will Powering through situations is going to be a temporary ability.  That’s why, “For Every Diet, There’s An Equal and Opposing Binge That Happens.”  Ever heard that one before?  Ever experienced that?

The trick is to change how you feel about food and eating at the neural/brain level.  Work on that for now: ”  I think long term, I think long term. ”  Keep reading, keep learning, keep thinking about your habits now, and what you want your habits to be a year from now.  Real change is peaceful, not stressful;  you can have real change, but not from a specific diet plan, pill, cleanse, superfood, super drink, etc etc,  Real Change comes from changing your brain.  The time to start practicing is now.

Waiting for the holidays to be over, a new month to begin, soccer season to end, a project at work completed, Monday,  yada yada yada, is a Diet Mentality that keeps you on the Diet Roller coaster.  Get off the roller coaster.  This is your life.  There’s always stress, there’s always complications, and there’s always co-workers, loved ones, and friends, who push food on you.  It’s normal.

***** The Food Isn’t Your Problem.  Your Mind is The Problem. *****  Work on changing your mind and in a year you can be a whole new person.  Keep putting it off, and stay exactly the same.

Bad Eating on a Snow Day; and Insulin Resistance

snow hereOh man I love snow days!! The house is decorated, we watched a movie with Shelby, the horses got their blankets on, and Mark put together his annual yearly picture collage with a couple hundred photos.  It feels good to get things done:)  You know what didn’t happen?  Bad eating, and that feels great!  When we ate munchie foods and snacks, we always kept them in the house;  now that we don’t snack between meals, there’s nothing calling us from the Pantry or Fridge!  No markcrackers, no chips, no cookies, nothing.  Between not having the junk in the house, and eating our high fat meals, Cravings Are Gone.   I know from my emails, and I remember myself, how loudly food can call to you;  change your thoughts, change your kitchen, change the way you cook, and those food voices get softer and softer until they disappear.  Honest.  You don’t have to Change Everything All At Once; just have a plan.  Make one small change every week.  Write it out.  Stick to it, be determined even in the face of set backs.  It’ll happen, I promise.


shelby mad

The picture on the right is Mark making the collage.  The picture on the left is Shelby pouting because we have no junk food; she had to cook up a snack of chicken sausage and was wishing she’d spent the snow day at a friends house.  Kids….

That leads to the Change your Mind / Change your Body plan.  The mantra for this week is “I think Long Term.”    So often we just think with a little spot in the brain that’s full of  “addicted neurons”; think Long Term and you’re using consequences to guide your behavior instead of momentary desires.  Your body and  your health will permanently change when your thinking does, so solidify in your mind why food matters.  Here’s some fodder:

I got another good question this weekend,  “what exactly is Insulin Resistance?”.  One of my nutrition clients is trying to figure this out, but we all need to know the answer because according to pubmed, at least 25% of the US population is Insulin Resistant.  Tests are showing that some babies are actually born insulin resistant (moms- cigarettes and alcohol aren’t the only thing you should avoid when pregnant, grains and sugar do damage too.).

Insulin Resistance is the condition before full blown Diabetes Type 2; here’s what happens (the short answer):  When  you eat carbohydrates (any and all) they break down to Glucose.  The Pancreas releases Insulin to shuttle the Glucose out of the blood.  It takes it to the muscle cells for fuel, the liver for storage, and then takes it to a different part of the liver where all the leftover glucose gets converted to triglycerides/fat, and stores it.

Go back to the muscle cells:  Insulin is a Caustic, Irritating, Damaging hormone.  (It wrecks havoc on our arteries as it courses through our veins).  When there’s not too much of it, the muscle cell doors “open” to let the insulin carry the glucose, and other nutrients, in.  When there’s too much insulin, from eating carbs all day and keeping blood sugars high, the cell doors “close”.  They say “NO” to the insulin.  Glucose and nutrients can’t get in.  That’s Insulin Resistance.

When the Glucose can’t get in the cells, the Pancreas gets a signal that blood sugar is high, and makes more Insulin.  More Insulin courses through our body, causing more damage.  More Glucose is converted to Fat, since the muscle cells can’t use it.  The excess glucose and insulin stay in the blood stream too long, causing free radicals, and damaging the cells on the back of the eyes, the kidney, and the extremities – these cells can’t resist.  ( a condition Diabetics are all too familiar with).

What else happens during Insulin Resistance?   It’s not a good list:  nerve damage, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high LDL, coronary artery disease, fatty liver, wrinkles and age spots, impotence, polycystic ovary disease, and I could go on and on and on.  Insulin Resistance can last for years before full Type 2 develops.

High blood sugar and high circulating Insulin are really really bad for you. What we eat matters!  What we eat determines our weight, our moods, our skin, our energy levels, our health.  Insulin Resistance is reversible, and preventable.  Choose wisely, choose Real Whole Food.  Check my What I Eat Page for Ideas, and if you’re in the area, drop in this Friday, December 13, between 12 and 2, for my Paleo Christmas Party!  Taste delicious Paleo foods without causing the blood sugar and insulin spikes:)

What’s So Good About Paleo Desserts? A Lot.

hunters headOhhh!  Four questions on the worthiness or effectiveness of “Paleo Desserts”! I get it:  how can sweets made with almond and coconut flour, which aren’t low fat or calorie free, be good for us?  We’ve been told for 25 years that if we want to “cheat”, we need to either eat the fake low cal/low fat stuff, or make it a “real” cheat day and just go for it, then diet later.  How’s that working out for America?

Here’s a few reasons why desserts made without grains and sugar are actually good for you.  One, they’re made without grains and sugar, two of the MOST ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES IN THE WORLD.   According to both old and new research, foods made with flour and sugar are MORE desirable than cocaine in rat, mouse, and human studies.  It makes sense:  these substances trigger “opioid / pleasure” centers in your brain.

Most of us know this feeling:  we have a cookie or a piece of cake, and it sets off a craving for more, independent of how full or hungry we are.  What about moderation?  I admit that works for some people ( that number’s getting smaller as more and more people develop food addictions), but not most.  Alcoholics and Drug Addicts can’t “moderate” their substance abuse, they have to stay away from it because even a little bit triggers the desire.  It’s the same with flours and sugars.  It doesn’t take much. Heck! It doesn’t even take putting it in your mouth!  Sometimes the THOUGHT/SMELL/SIGHT of foods made with flour and sugar set off the desire. That’s how powerful they are.

Reason 2:  unless you’re allergic to nuts and eggs, Paleo desserts won’t trigger or cause inflammation, headaches, stomach bloat, immune suppression, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, high bad LDL, or any of the other illnesses, mood disorders, or diseases that Grains and Sugar cause.  As a matter of fact, if Nutrient Density is your goal, most of the desserts are pretty Nutrient Dense.  Eat foods that are Nutrient Dense and your BODY RUNS BETTER.

Reason 3:  eliminate foods with Grains and Sugar, up your Fat and Protein,  and your ENTIRE APPETITE DECREASES.  Honest.  The constant hunger, the eating every couple of hours, the obsessive thoughts of food, they disappear when you’re not consuming carbs that burn up in a few hours.  Ping-ponging Blood Sugar has BAD consequences for our weight and our health.  I get all my Nutrition clients to buy Glucometers and test their blood sugar.  I do it too.  Trust me, these Paleo Desserts DON’T MESS WITH THE BLOOD SUGAR, and that’s a BIG DEAL.  We Want Even Blood Sugars ALL DAY LONG.  Eliminate flours and sugars and that happens.

All behavior is BELIEF DRIVEN.  If you don’t smoke, it’s because you think smoking is gross and deadly.  If you don’t drink, it’s because you know hangovers hurt, and you could do something real dumb while you’re drunk.  If you don’t do Heroin or Cocaine, it’s because you know they’re dangerous.

Believe This:  Grains and Sugars are deadly and fattening.  (Let this be your MANTRA this week.) Every time and for every body, even kids.  Become Passionately Averse to them, and life becomes so much better:  weight, mood, inflammation, hormones, etc etc etc.    Drop your fear of fat.  Your body is made out of Water, Fat, and Protein.  Carbohydrates are used to build nothing. We need some carbs for energy and vegetables and fruits supply more than enough.

Back to the original question, are Paleo Desserts really better than Normal Desserts?  YES!! Speaking of Paleo Desserts, if you’re in the area, I’m having a Paleo Indulgences Christmas Party Friday, December 13, from noon to 2.  Everyone’s Invited!  Need recipe ideas?               All Day I Dream About Food, PaleoOMG, and Elana’s Pantry are great places to start.  It’s wonderful to be able to indulge without the bloat, the guilt, or the food hangover.  Trust me.

Here’s a pic of some Peanut Butter cookies I made last night, which were EXCELLENT! Here’s the recipe .

peanut butter cookies


Is Quinoa Paleo? A Travel Workout; a Vacation Cut Short, and THANKSGIVING

Our anniversary weekend was cut a little short thanks to snow – we brought a car that DOESN’T drive well on slippery roads 🙁   We still had a great two days, got to see a part of fallingwaterSouthWestern Pa I hadn’t seen before ( beautiful! ) and take a tour of Fallingwater, the home Frank Lloyd Wright built in 1936 over a waterfall.  If you’re in the area, or interested in architecture, this is a Must See.

We did have a great workout yesterday in the Nemacolin Spa/Gym, who wouldn’t?? The stone, the wood, the giant walls of glass so that you felt like you were outside – it was inspiring!   Here’s what I did (Travel Gym Workout):  7 rounds of leg press (25 reps) with 2 minutes on the elliptical after each set,  then 2 rounds of abductor/adductor machines with 2 minutes elliptical after each set, then 4 rounds assisted pull ups (12), 15 push ups, with 2 minutes elliptical after each set, and ball pullovers to finish up.

eggs and vegAfterwards, we had a quick lunch before we checked out: the leftover vegetables from the night before mixed with 6 eggs (yes, we eat the yolks – they’re nutrient BOMBS).  Then I ate a small bag of nuts and seeds in the car.

Dinner was back at home, and I just made what I was going to make anyway:  burgers stuffed with slow roasted tomatoes, topped with thick cheddar, a pot of vegetables cooked in bacon fat and butter (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, onion, and kale), a big sweet potato cut up and roasted, then doused in butter.  Two of our girls were home so I made a lot, but there’s vegetables left over to mix with eggs again this morning.

Now to the Quinoa question:  is Quinoa paleo?  Is it healthy? Is it a good substitute for bread crumbs in meatloaf?  Do I eat quinoa?  Answers:  quinoa is a seed not a grain, technically, seeds are paleo.  However, the carb count is high:  1 cup is 109 grams of carbs, that’ll send your blood sugar soaring.  It’s also got some of the anti-nutrients you’d find in grains, which means say hi to digestive/stomach issues.  Do I eat it?  Not in years.  I OD’d on grains and gut disruptive foods for so long, that I have NO leeway in messing with them; a couple years ago I even tried sprouted quinoa, and 30 minutes later I was in stomach bloat misery.  What about the meatloaf?  You can use almond flour, coconut flour, or ……. no flour binder whatsoever.  Have you googled Paleo Meatloaf recipes?  There’s about a million;  I never use a recipe, I just throw in whatever I’m craving or whatever’s available.  Meatloaf’s kind of a no-brainer in that it’s EASY to make it delicious.  Try this one:

turkeysEnough about all that now, it’s Thanksgiving week!!!  We’ve been pouring over recipes  and this morning we’ve watched the Contessa, Giada, and Pioneer Woman.  I’ve started saving recipes on Pintrest, and we’re about to head to Wegmans.  We’re planning a solid, 100% Paleo/Gluten Free Thanksgiving ( sorry Shelby!).   What are you all making?



What to Eat for Lunch Instead of a Sandwich, and a “Thought Changing” Quote

I get asked all the time, “what do you eat for lunch if you don’t have a sandwich?”  That’s easy:  meats, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and fats.   There’s nothing magic about a sandwich at lunch time, not even “ease of eating”;  lots of things are fast and easy to make / eat.

Start with dinner leftovers; actually, PLAN for dinner leftovers.  Buy and cook more dinner than you think you’ll need to, and pack the leftovers for lunch.  No leftovers?  Make sure you have nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, or good lunch meat and cheese on hand to throw together in 5 minutes.  ( Planning is EVERYTHING.)

lunchHere’s a few recent lunches I packed:  that’s leftover sausage with broth, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms, and those two white chunks on the side?  That a couple of chunks of coconut butter I popped out with a knife.

To the right, that’s left over fish with half an avocado, a baggie with a pear, and a lunch 2baggy with pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts.

This is a baggie of brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dark chocolate, and macadamias, and a Granny Smith apple.   lunch 3 Easy!

What about kids?  Meat and cheese roll ups, bags of nut/chocolate/fruit mixes, fruits with nut butters, gluten free nut bars, carrots and celery sticks, salads,  homemade paleo treats, and occasionally, a sandwich with gluten free bread. (My youngest wears me down – but I do have  standards!).  I’ve got a post on feeding kids in the works, but know this for now:

*****You Are The Example***** Your health, your habits, your issues, you’re teaching them and conveying them to your children EVERY SINGLE DAY.    If your message is that you’re too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, too sick, too too too too, your kids are sucking that right up.

On a different note, have you been thinking about the Mother Theresa quote, ” Find someone that no one else loves, and love them.”  ??  Remember, you’re taking a couple of months to ACTIVELY work on getting rid of your negative thoughts.  Check out the last several posts to see where that’s going.

Here’s a great quote from Joyce Meyer’s book, Power Thoughts,  “Whatever you hold in your mind will tend to occur in your life.  If you continue to believe as you have always believed, you will continue to act as you have always acted.  If you continue to act as you have always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten.  If you want different results in your life or your work, all you have to do is change your mind.”  Anonymous

Love it!

The PLAN; and Everything You Wanted To Know About Broth and Gelatin

talking about problemsDid you get a chance to read the last post on Changing Habitual Thoughts and Patterns?  If not, make sure you do.  It’s a theme I’m going to stick with for several weeks.  I want everyone to be able to quit the Negative Self Talk and Habits, switch to Positive Self Talk accompanied by Positive Action Steps, and see actual changes by January.  It’s all starts in the mind, so verbalize, write, and visualize the mantra from the last post:  ”Whatever the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve.  I take steps to be fit, healthy, and energetic.”

Now a quick post to answer a question I’ve had several times lately:  Where can I get  gelatin/bone broth/collagen, and why do I need it?

Here’s the scoop:  our body is FULL of a protein called Collagen. It’s everywhere:  it makes up our skin, our intestinal tract, artery lining,  stomach lining, cartilage and more.  Truly, it’s very abundant.  The breakdown of collagen, in our skin, our intestinal tract, cartilage, etc, is a big problem:  wrinkles and loss of elasticity in the skin, leaky gut, hardening of the arteries, arthritis, ……get the picture?

If we’re older, we don’t make collagen as well or as much as we used to.  If we have crappy diets that don’t supply the INGREDIENTS for collagen, we don’t make sufficient amounts; if we’re sick or compromised, we don’t make enough, and if we feed our body bad foods, we make bad collagen.

In other words, it’s pretty easy NOT to make enough collagen, or make BAD collagen.  That’s where bone broths and gelatins come in.  They’re LOADED with collagen, and all the cofactors to use and absorb it.

If you make homemade broth, make sure you’re simmering the bones, with a tbsp of vinegar, for at least 24 hours, 48 is even better.  Incorporate the broth into soups, stews, vegetables, fish, everything you can think of.  If you’re trying to heal a leaky gut, you should try to get at least 2 cups a day in, plain and warm and in a mug works well.    Don’t feel like making broth?  Check to see if any of the stores in your area that are selling LOCAL meats/cheeses/vegetables etc are also selling homemade broth ( commercial brands almost always have MSG).  If not, ordering online is always an option:  grassland,, and are places to start.

Another option?  Buy dry, powdered Gelatin or Collagen, which is loaded with animo acids and highly absorbable.  I’ve been using the Great Lakes Gelatin for a few months now, literallygreat lakes putting it in everything from smoothies to casseroles to desserts and it’s AWESOME.   There’s NO taste whatsoever – literally.  It’s just amino acids and nutrients.  If you have a really compromised gut, get their hydrolyzed collagen instead of the gelatin, it’s easier to absorb if there’s health issues.  I use the gelatin for myself and my family.

Why would I still make bone broth and not just rely on the (easier) powdered gelatin, since they both contain collagen and amino acids?  Bone broth contains the minerals from the bones,  the nutrients from the joints (glucosamine, chondroitin, msm, hyularic acid..), the marrow from the bones,  and it’s  incredibly high in the amino acid glycine, which is  one of the liver’s main go-tos for it’s detoxification jobs (that means breaking down drugs, chemicals in foods, etc).

Gelatin and Hydrolyzed Collagen are both made from the collagen layer underneath animal hides, so there’s a different class of nutrients there from the bones and joints.   Bone broth and collagen both have different amino acid profiles than muscle meats.  That’s an important distinction!   Organ meats, bones, the collagen under the hides, these are nutritionally dense foods that until the past few decades were not just normally consumed in the United States, but were acknowledged for their nutritional SUPERIORITY over muscle meats.  Broths and gelatin are a way to reap some of those traditional benefits.

I hope this answers the Broth/Gelatin/Collagen questions.  Let me know if it doesn’t.  Consuming foods that improve health, actually focusing on getting as many nutrients as possible, will have big, positive, consequences for your health, your weight, your mood, and even your appearance (collagen and healthy fats are great for our skin).  Eat for Health, and Weight Loss is always a side effect.  Take the Action Steps!

I’m off to the gym with the Hubs to have a heavy leg day, and then we’re going to see Gravity – I can’t wait!  I also can’t wait to gather my notes for my next post on the Habits of Happy People Seminar I went to yesterday – it was Inspiring:)